Big ball

Noah trotted into our living room as if he had lived here
for years.  Our ninth foster dog, a Lhasa
Apso mix, arrived the end of November from a shelter in Camden, New

Photo: Our new arrival! He is up for adoption through Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue, Keyport NJ

He was adorable, as you can see.

But there was much more to Noah than this irresistible face.

It was Noah’s “other end” that intrigued me.

As Noah spent his first night with us, sniffing around the
premises, I couldn’t help but notice his enormous set of balls.

His balls were so big, they kind of got in the way of his
being able to walk straight, if you know what I mean.

(No, you will NOT get a picture here of Noah’s balls –
because THAT would be crossing the line – and I already feel like I’ve crossed
a few lines in this blog post already)

My finding led to my calling an officer from the rescue,
since according to Noah’s records, he had been neutered before he arrived.

“He doesn’t look neutered to me,” I explain on my phone call
with E. 

“They need to shrink,” she responded matter-of-factly. “It takes
a few weeks.”  

Who knew???

Not only did Noah have a set of balls, be he had a “set of
balls” to go with his balls. From the moment he walked into our house, he owned
the place. He owned the water bowl and the toys that belonged to our other
foster. He owned a stuffed animal that he found in the corner of the girls’
bedroom.  He owned the left side of the
couch and the blanket that I put on the left side of the couch to help keep off
the dog hair.

He owned them unapologetically.

While some battles ensued to reclaim items that were not for
Noah’s consumption, the Barbie Dolls, shoes, and a hard covered text book that
belonged to my son’s school, I could not help but admire Noah’s attitude of
entitlement.  For Noah, life was there
for the taking.  And he took.

We often talk about “entitlement” as if it’s a bad
thing.  We say things like, “Kids today
are so entitled,” and we talk about the “entitlement complexes” of the millennials
in the workplace who apparently, have very high expectations of how they should
be treated by their bosses. And while a lot of entitlement is excessive and
unrealistic, is a little entitlement really a bad thing?

Especially for someone like me.

If you and I are walking toward each other on the sidewalk,
I am that girl who hops onto the grass as we pass each other. No, I don’t move
over to give you enough room to get by, I give you the whole damn sidewalk.

A little bit of that Noah swagger could do me some good. I
don’t want to take your Barbie Dolls or chew on your school books, but sharing the
sidewalk seems reasonable.  

Some days you may need a little more room to walk and some
days it may be me.  And on those days I
need some extra space and feel reluctant to ask,

Little ball

I'm gonna channel some of this.

Every Diva could use a set, don’t you think?  


Balls — 32 Comments

  1. Hahahahaha, okay, it’s absolutely hilarious how you started out talking about literal big balls and then jumped into entitlement and taking the world as your own. LOL (I knew you weren’t going to stick to doggy junk throughout the whole post.)
    I used to walk out into the grass as well, my friend. I still do for those older than me. Yet, for kids younger than me, I politely give them enough space. I make them share. (Is that terrible? I am what you would refer to as a “millenial”…born in 1982, class of 2000 right here.) I think it’s definitely a generation where people begin to understand what they’re worth and what they won’t tolerate; HOWEVER, I also find myself angry with many of them, because there IS a line that can be crossed. You don’t HAVE to speak every word on your mind, simply because you have a “freedom of speech”. You don’t have to cut in line, or take a parking space, or nearly run a pregnant lady over, simply because your car got to the end of the aisle quicker. (Man. I will never forget that. I was walking, 8 months pregnant, already in the aisle with a cart on my way out, and some chick drove up in her Bimmer and yelled at ME for being in the way. Grr.) There’s taking the bull by the horns and then there’s ENTITLEMENT. I think too many people take the latter way too literally and abuse it, no?
    Loved this post, though…you made an incredible point, my friend. 🙂 You SHOULD have a set. 😉

  2. I LOVE this post!! You’re right on the money with us having a little more “balls” in the day to day. I’m just like you, where I give the whole sidewalk to people as I pass them on the stress (not an easy thing to do in NYC) and I apologize for it too. Like it’s my fault that we have to share a bit of personal space as we pass each other on the street. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ll be imagining Noah’s balls the next time I need to show the world who’s boss!! 🙂

  3. Such a cute dog. 🙂 I didn’t know you fostered. That’s awesome.
    I agree with Melissa above that there is a difference between taking the bull by the horns and a sense of entitlement. You are not intrinsically entitled to the sidewalk, but you are well within your right to maintain your space in the universe! That’s just my two philosophical cents.

  4. I agree totally and wholeheartedly. I want my kids to learn to be entitled in a positive way, and not demanding and whinging when they grow up. I think expectation is tied up into entitlement, as well. And we ARE all entitled to some things.

  5. Ah – Ilene. I am so the girl who makes room for the other people on the sidewalk. I am also the one who wants to hold the door for everyone. I genuinely do. But it shocks me how many people walk through it without an acknowledgement or “thanks” of any kind. Sometimes i just do it to see, will someone surprise me today?
    I know to be a little bit more diva. But in a nice way. Just enough where I yield, but make people recognize they are not the only ones on the sidewalk.

  6. I think everyone deserves a good set of balls! I usually move over, say thank you and always use my blinker, but in my mind I’m setting the example for the a-hole that didn’t give me enough space, didn’t say thank you or cut me off:).

  7. Amen to some entitlement, girl! I hear you and I love this! I could use more of that swagger and willingness to take up space. As a matter of fact, at the visioning workshop I went to over the weekend, the biggest “vision” that came up for me after writing a novel and/or a screenplay, was to learn to step on some toes and take up more space with what I want and need. Your timing is perfect for me with this post. I’ll happily join you in this vision! Great work!

  8. I feel like I am finally finding mine! I think with age comes wisdom and strength and I’ve been gaining a lot of both recently. I’m going to start walking with a swagger too! 😉

  9. Remember, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the balls on the dog, that makes the difference. I think Bear Bryant might have said this. Or something similar.
    Ilene, right now, you’re on the figurative vet’s calendar for the neutering. You’re just about to get that magnificent set, and although it won’t last long, I hope that you’ll make it your routine to stand your ground, claim what’s yours, and still hold fast to that element within you that knows the value of kindness and humanity in the balance of surviving and thriving in this universe.
    Actually, you already have that set. You just don’t know it yet.
    And you’re “nuts” to think a slight shift in your attitude on that sidewalk won’t make a difference. It will.

  10. Melissa, you nailed it as you always do. There is that line that we need to toggle between knowing what we are worth and taking the bull by the horns but simply not “taking” to take or being spoiled, for that matter. And your story about when you were 8 mos pregnant? So sad but that stuff happens all the time thanks to those who gladly take up the entire sidewalk!

  11. Mary, from your mouth to God’s ears, may this be the year for both of us where we are willing to step on a few toes to get what we want and need.
    I can’t wait to hear more about your visioning workshop. Do tell me you will blog about it? If not – shoot me an email or call me! When you said writing a novel or screenplay, I got chills, and my chills are never wrong! You go girl!!!!

  12. First of all, it’s a good thing it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, or I’d be in big trouble (you are newer here so you may have missed the post where I “confess” my real height). As far as standing my ground and claiming what is mine is concerned, this is the year that it needs to happen. And as you say, I hope I can do it with as much heart and kindness and humanity as possible. Now, off to practice my swagger.

  13. ohmygoodness. I love this post Ilene. I was a little concerned at first that you might have fallen off your rocker but your message is so spot on. I’m definitely the one who moves over on the sidewalk, always ducks my head to say excuse me or sorry. I need to be more ballsy. Thanks for the reminder. PS I love seeing you back here btw. xox

  14. You don’t know how relieved I am that you aren’t going to be chewing on Barbies or books! However, an additional seasoning of confidence does go a long way. As one who existed through high school and for years later as a wall flower—actually, I felt more like wallpaper most of the time—life is so much colorful and joyful when we see and treat ourselves as the treasures we are!

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